Pork meatballs with tomato and pasta
I've been making beef meatballs with this tomato sauce for ages, but tried pork mince on a bit of a whim and it works really well.
To the pork mince add a good teaspoon of ground up fennel seeds and about the same of chopped thyme. I also fried half a finely diced onion and added that to the mix too and seasoned well. Squeeze the mix together well to form the meatballs there's no need for an egg to bind the mix.
First brown the meatballs and remove from the pan. Next fry a chopped onion, garlic and a diced red pepper (and/or mushrooms) in the fat and juices that have come out into the meatball pan until soft. Throw in a glug of red wine and let it bubble away for a few minutes. At this point, if you’re using a frying pan you need to transfer the mix into a casserole dish.
Return the meatballs to the dish, add a tin of tomatoes and enough stock so that the meatballs are completely covered – for me that’s usually about a 1/4 of a pint but it’ll vary by size of dish. Put a lid on it.
This now goes in the oven (170 C) for about 40 minutes. After that time the sauce should be reduced by about a third. If it’s not thick enough, give it 10 minutes on the stove or turn up the oven and take off the lid.
If you’re feeling fruity, you can tear up a ball of mozzarella, scatter it over the top of the sauce and give it five minutes in the oven with the lid off to melt. It’s well worth it!
We usually eat this with spaghetti or linguine.